News Briefs

Fauci and schools

Policymakers and parents have spent a lot of time planning and worrying about how to reopen schools and other communal spaces. According to Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, local conditions are critical. “You can have the authorities in the states and the cities do it right and proclaim that we should do it this way, [but] that only works if the citizenry . . . pay attention and do it.”

In a recent online conversation with The Commonwealth Club, Dr. Fauci said schools should reopen if local conditions permit it. “There’s a big difference between a green zone or a green county where there’s very little infection in the community, and you’re dealing with an elementary or middle school — you can’t throw caution to the wind, but you can open with a fair degree of safety.” Yellow zones could open more cautiously and with mitigating actions, such as increased space between desks, split-schedules, and others. “Then you’ve got the red zone, where you’ve got a lot of infection in the community. You really have to think twice before you want to put kids back in school then.”

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